First Impressions – Shovel Knight (PAX East 2014)
For those of you who have never heard of Shovel Knight, let me take a brief moment to explain it. Think old-school. Now, think about games like Castlevania, Mega Man, and Duck Tales. Finally, think about the guy from the Mystery Men movie called The Shoveler and put him in the Knights of the Roundtable setting. Put that all together, and you have Shovel Knight. In other words, Shovel Knight is a classic side-scrolling action-based adventure game inspired by the 8-bit graphical stylings of the NES.
You play Shovel Knight, who has two goals: defeat the even Enchantress and save his lady friend. His ShovelBlade is a multipurpose weapon that allows him to slash and dig his way through each level. You will weild it with the buttons, and you move around with either the D-Pad or Circle-Pad. Along the way, you will encounter enemies from The Order of No Quarter, who want to stop you.
The game controlled really well. I never had any point where I felt frustrated. On the 3DS, I tended to play more with the Circle-Pad, but I believe that was more because its placement felt more natural instead of it actually being a better way to move Shovel Knight. The graphics also looked beautiful on the 3DS. The cool thing with it being 8-bit is that the console versions look pretty much like the 3DS, and visa versa. This way, you are not really getting less of a game if you choose to go handheld.
In terms of the differences, the 3DS will have StreetPass, which allows for you to challenge those you pass on levels in the game. The Wii U version will get a challenge mode, too, but it will obviously work differently. Other than that, the basic game is the same, no matter what platform you prefer.
Back on April 13, the game blew through their goals on Kickstarter, which showed a ton of support. Soon, they will release the game to the masses on pretty much all consoles available. From what I saw today, it should be a hit. If you are a fan of classic action games, you will probably want to download Shovel Knight when it comes out very soon on both 3DS and Wii U.
For more about the game, check out their website at http://www.shovelknight.com.